Bonnie Jean Jones, age 92, of Wilmot, died Thursday, April 20, 2017, at her residence.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, April 26 at 2:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Wilmot.
Visitation will be Tuesday, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the church and will continue on Wednesday, one hour prior to the service.
Honorary bearers will be Jessica Jones, Tammy Twite, the staff of Jean’s Bridal Shop, and the American Legion Auxiliary. Casket bearers will be: Troy Lange, Adam Jones, Brian Jones, Alex Jones, Jerry Locke, Matt Cameron, and Chad Ballhagen. Music will be provided by Sharon Ammann, organist and Dezaray Johnson, vocalist.
Bonnie Jean (Cameron) Jones was born October 12, 1924, in Wilmot, SD. She was the daughter of Charles and Miriam (Walker) Cameron. Jean grew up in Wilmot and graduated from Wilmot High School with the Class of 1942 as class Valedictorian. After high school Jean worked at the bank in Wilmot. She was united in marriage with Franklin Howard Jones on December 16, 1946, in Wilmot.
They moved to Nampa, ID where Frank had family. Jean worked in a bank there. They moved to Browns Valley, MN before returning to Wilmot. In 1950 they purchased a farm in Lake Township, Roberts County. Jean worked for the dry cleaners in Wilmot before she purchased the business in 1951. The business gradually evolved into a combination dry cleaner and bridal shop, Jean’s Bridal and Formal Wear, and drew customers throughout the region. Jean owned and operated the business for 60 years while raising three children with her husband. She was named Outstanding Businessperson by the Wilmot Community Club in 1964. Jean was proud to build a new building on Main Street in 1989.
Jean and Frank enjoyed traveling in their motorhome. Jean was a horse lover and a member of the saddle club. She enjoyed square dancing. She was a talented musician and gave piano lessons to many students. Jean was a tutor for school children and loved reading her student’s names in the honor roll. One of her proudest achievements was when she was asked to be the commencement speaker at Wilmot High School in 1993. Jean enjoyed volunteering her time and talents at the Wilmot Care Center. She was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, delivering many meals. She was selected for The President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2006. Jean wrote a series of books on the history of Wilmot and traced her family genealogy. She was recognized from the South Dakota State Historical Society for her nomination for Individual Governor’s Award for History in 2015. Jean was awarded the 2002 Tradition of Caring Jefferson Award. She served on the Wilmot Cemetery Board as Secretary for many years. Jean was on the Chautauqua Concert Association Board. Jean was a faithful and active member of the First Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Women.
Jean was a proud and active member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She was awarded 2003 South Dakota Legionette of the Year and was named Unit Member of the Year from Drake-Sorbel Post #64. She had the distinct honor of South Dakota Woman of the Year in 2003.
Left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Lois Lange of Houston, MN; sons: Bill (Cora) Jones of Wilmot, SD; and Tom (Nancy) Jones of Huron, SD; brother, Kenneth Cameron of Wilmot, SD; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Miriam; husband, Franklin in 1999; sons-in-law: Gary Despiegler and Jim Lange; brother and sister-in-law, Bruce and Lindy Cameron; and sister-in-law, Doris Cameron.